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4.12 of 5 stars 4.12  ·  rating details  ·  1,336 ratings  ·  227 reviews
Anthony Browne’s incomparable artwork illuminates the deeply satisfying story of a lonely girl, a friendly gorilla, and their enchanted night out.

Hannah spends all of her time reading gorilla books, watching gorilla TV shows, and drawing gorilla pictures. She has gorillas on her bedside lamp
and even on her box of cereal. Hannah loves gorillas and longs to see a real one,
Hardcover, 40 pages
Published August 26th 2002 by Candlewick (first published 1983)
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Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice SendakGreen Eggs and Ham by Dr. SeussThe Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric CarleCharlotte's Web by E.B. WhiteThe Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein
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This was charming book of a young girl who loved all things gorilla and wanted little more than to see one in person. But her father had to work hard to support her and often did not seem to have a lot of time to entertain her. As we all know, birthdays can be a magical, special time for children and young Hannah is no exception. Heartwarming and sweet.

I must admit there are a few scenes that had me arching my eyebrow at what she was up in the way of questionable behavior, but the end explains e
Lisa Walshe
Gorilla by Anthony Browne.

I am amazed that I have never come across this book before! Only just having read it, I was immediately transported back to childhood days of vulnerability, ambivalence and let-downs, but also days of fantasy filled adventures, fun and love.

This emotive and endearing book tells the humbling story of Hannah, a little girl, who wants nothing more but to spend quality time with her very busy father. Left to her own devices a lot of the time, Hannah spends her days reading
This was always one of my favourite books as a young reader and probably even before I could read it myself!

I think Anothy Browne has explored a number of issues and anxieties experienced by most children in a imaginative, enchanting and magical way in this book- and the fact that this is all done within 30 pages is an absolute triumph.

'Gorilla' is a short story about Hannah, a young girl who is obsessed with all things gorilla. The story implies that Hannah is from a single-parent family (alth
Michael Hollingsworth
Hannah is a young girl who is fascinated by gorillas. She dreams of seeing a real gorilla but her father never has the time to take her to the zoo as he is always too busy. On the night before her birthday Hannah notices a small parcel at the end of her bed. When she opens the parcel she finds a toy gorilla which disappoints her as she had wanted a real one. During the night Hannah wakes to find a real gorilla staring down at her. Although she is startled she comes to find that he is a friendly ...more
Ross Oates
The book Gorilla by Anthony Browne is a story about a girl called Hannah who loves gorillas. Hannah reads about gorillas, watches them on television and draws pictures of them but has never seen a real life gorilla before.
Her father is a very busy man and spends little time with Hannah as he goes to work very early in the morning and spends his evenings working also.
On the night before her birthday, something magical happens to Hannah. She awakes in the middle of the night to find a real gorill
Lauren Edgar
Gorilla adresses how as a child sometimes you can feel lost and alone. Hannah a little girl who's father is always too busy working to much to do, well, do anything. Because of this she fills her time with her favorite animal, Gorillas! She reads books about gorillas, she watches tv about gorillas, she draws pictures of gorillas, she does everything that has to do with gorillas. But because her father is so busy and cannot take her to the zoo Hannah has never seen a gorilla in real life. Althoug ...more
This is a heart-warming story about a young girl, Hannah, who loves gorillas and dreams about having a real gorilla. Hannah appears lonely at the beginning of the book as her father is too busy to spend time with her or take her places. For her birthday she asks her father for a real gorilla, but, to her disappointment she receives a toy one. However in an exciting twist the toy gorilla comes alive during the night and takes Hannah to all the places she wished to go with her father, including th ...more
Ruby Patel
This emotional story with soft and touching illustrations unveils the tale of a child named Hannah who loves gorillas and longs for her father to notice her. It promotes deep conversations about family ties, friendship bonds and emotions (I could see it being used within a philosophy for children lesson).

Over night as it approaches Hannah's birthday a small gorilla which she keeps besides her transforms into a friendly real life gorilla who takes her on a thoughtful adventure to the zoo. The tal
Ellie Matthews
It’s hard to choose a favourite Antony Browne picture book but this is the one we used with our year sixes. Gorilla is the story of a little girl whose father never has any time for her; all she wants a Gorilla for her birthday but only gets a toy. Then when she goes to sleep the toy becomes alive and the Gorilla takes her on a journey.

Browne’s beautiful illustrations are intelligent and perceptive and it takes a few readings to really appreciate them. They seem to show the world through the vie
Marzina Begum
Gorilla is a story about a little girl called Hannah and her love for Gorilla’s, on her birthday the toy gorilla gifted by her father comes to life, Hannah and her new friend Gorilla go on an adventure that night for her birthday the next day after her birthday the gorilla turns back into a toy. Hannah’s father takes her to the zoo for her birthday to see some gorilla’s little does Hannah father know she had adventure with a real gorilla. This story book can be used for any group I think in orde ...more
Nicolas Robles

The story tells about a little girl who is neglected by her dad who is always busy. The reader is lead to believe that he is a single father because it only mentions that the mother is not around and speaks nothing else about her. It is a very relatable book because many students can have that fear of being alone to and that their parents are not there for them. Towards the end the daughter does mend things with her dad and finds out that he loved her all along. I think this book would be approp
Apr 19, 2012 Sarah added it
Absolutely loved this story! I am a fan of Anthony Browne in general as he is an illustrator as well as an author. Hannah is a girl who is obsessed with Gorillas, she has gorilla's everywhere. The main themes I think the book focuses on is lonelyness and the struggles faced by one parent families. The book begins with Hannah craving attention from her father who is always too busy to do anything. (the illustrations particularly stand out as they are quite detailed and often tells the story in it ...more
Anthony Browne's Gorilla book is a great book keeping illustrative heavy books alive, even for older readers. While reading it with my year four class they were constantly engaged with the book through the little picture details within the background.

The story itself moves along at a nice pace and is enthralling enough even though it contains only short one or two line sentences per page. I feel it is perfect for children between the ages of 5 and 9, but this picture book is so delightful that i
Jay Werner
This is story is one that is told just like many others in the sense and wonder of the child's imagination. The child is obsessed with something that is just out of reach for them to get. It may be going to the North Poll to see Santa, going to the moon, or even dinosaurs. While it is far from original it has its place in children book lore for one simple reason. Children have a wonderful imagination and that powerful skill needed to be built up so that they really believe that they can be or do ...more
Carly Meyers
This story is about a little girl named Hannah who loves gorillas so very much. She keeps asking her very busy father if he can take her to the zoo but he is always too busy. For her birthday, Hannah asks for a real live gorilla and when she goes to bed, she sees a package and opens it to be disappointed to find it is only a toy. She throws it with her other toys but then it comes to life and they go on adventures together. When she wakes up, she runs downstairs to tell her dad about the adventu ...more
Alyssa Frank
The postmodern picture book Gorilla by Anthony Browne is a complex and imaginative book that explores anxiety and loneliness. It begins with a young girl named Hannah who has a love for gorillas yet she has never see one in person. Hannah dreams of seeing the animals in the zoo but her much to busy dad hardly has time for her. The night before Hannah's birthday she goes to sleeping hoping for a real gorilla when she awakens. Hannah is disappointed in the middle of the night when she finds a gori ...more
We question others ability to love throughout our life, we know our children/spouse love us in our adult but often contemplate that connectedness and as young children we question our relationship with our parents who, more often than not, seem far too busy with their own life. It is far too human to feel disconnected from those you hold a connection to you, but by questioning those feelings we can often lose ourselves seeking answers. Needing a guide to show us the way, sometimes we simply nee ...more
Christina Greenberg
Gorilla by Anthony Browne is the story of a child who is longing for the love and attention from her father. The interactions between the girl and her father in the beginning of the book show a grim and bland relationship. The images of the two of them together show muted and bland colors. The father has a frown on his face and is always working. We do not see the face of the child in the images with her father. This could be to show that she feels invisible when she is around him. One particula ...more
Anthony Browne’s 1983 classic, Gorilla possesses qualities uncommon to the picturebook genre. First it’s a redemptive tale of neglect and sadness. Next, the narrative of its illustrations is dominant to that of its writing.

The story is simple. A little girl longs for the attention of her busy father. A toy gift she initially neglects fulfills her desire for an attentive parent. By story’s end, the issue between the girl and her father is reconciled, as the father seems to pick up where the toy l

Rejean Rouse
I really liked this book and thought it was a really cute and creative version of a dream. I also liked that it shows different emotions that people go through. For example I saw fear, joy, excitement, love, and loneliness throughout this book. Because of this I find this book to be age appropriate and pleasurable for children. The illustrations are very detailed and the story can give hope to those children that have constantly working parents. I also feel this book is in the right genre becaus ...more
This book has a beautiful story supplemented by deep and detailed illustrations. The girl just wants to spend time with her father, but turns to a stuffed animal and her imagination to spend time with a father figure. As she goes to the zoo with her large gorilla friend, it is remarked that the primates are "beautiful, but sad". The illustrations throughout the book are fantastic, but they are specifically outstanding when the primates are depicted. The large, detailed illustrations seem to refl ...more
The beginning of the book made me feel sad for the little girl. Especially since she was being ignored by her father, and not just a friend. It's hard for children to cope with being ignored by their parents, but I think showing them how they can have creative fun can help comfort them. The sentences in the book were a little long for children attempting to learn how to read, so a child would definitely need someone to help them read the story. It might be a little advanced for the age group it ...more
Allison Murray
This book is a great representation of a picture storybook. The pictures and words do a great job of working together to tell a story. One of these elements could not tell the story without the other, because each gives information that the other does not. Even though some sentences may be long, I think this book is suitable for primary grade children and would be a good, challenging read for them. I would use this book with children to better their reading as well as to introduce an emotional s ...more
Gorilla is the first picture book I think that has ever brought tears to my eyes. This book was so well written and so well fitted with imagery. The plot at first made me feel immensely sad. A few of the pictures that stick out to me are the second page of the child eating and being almost blocked out of the father’s life by the newspaper. The second is the image of the child eating alone with the television light hitting her. These stick out to me because, eating with your family is very import ...more
Isaac Taylor
I think this was a great book. It might have been a little advanced for its age group because some of the sentences were a little long (even though they were pretty simple, it wasn't "The cat sat on the mat.") The pictures were easily understandable, but also had some good hidden bits in them too for readers who really analyzed the pictures. So maybe slightly advanced, but good for a little challenge. As for it's categorization, it might be just slightly out of place. This book could probably st ...more
Daithi O'connor
Hanna is a young girl who is obsessed by gorillas. She loves reading about them, watching them on TV and drawing them. Her father is a very busy man who doesn't have a lot of time for Hanna. He works very hard and whenever Hanna asks him something he always says "not now, maybe tomorrow". On the eve of her birthday, Hanna asks her Dad for a gorilla. She wakes up in the middle of the night to find a toy gorilla at the end of her bed. Hanna throws the gorilla with her other toys and goes back to s ...more
Autumn Anderson
This book gave me chills! What a sad yet sweet story about a girl who does not receive much attention at home. I think this book is so great for children who have parents that work because it lets them know they are not alone. I also like that the animal used is a gorilla because I feel like that is an unlikely animal for a child to be infatuated with. It not only promotes a love for animals but it also paints a big scary animal in a very sweet loving way. I think this is a good book to introduc ...more
Katherina Mccarthy
Gorilla tells the story of a little girl who simply LOVES gorillas. One night she goes to sleep feeling very excited about a promise that her father had made… He promised to get her her very own gorilla! She wakes up the next morning to see a small parcel at the bottom of her bed and inside is a toy gorilla. She, yet again, feels let down by her father. However, this is no ordinary gorilla. That very night he came to life woke her up and asks to take her to the zoo. He dons her father’s hat and ...more
Samantha Mendez
Gorilla is a picture book by author-illustrator Anthony Browne. In his original manner, he tells the story of Hannah who is fascinated by Gorillas but has never been to the zoo to see one in real life. Hannah regularly asks her dad to take her but he is seemingly too busy to take her, often leaving Hannah upset. For her birthday Hannah asks for a gorilla and is disappointed when all she receives is a stuffed toy. Overnight however the gorilla grows and Hannah wakes to find a full sized gorilla i ...more
Josselyn Hernandez
Gorilla, by Anthony Browne is one of those books that contain many subtle clues that help build the story. At the beginning of the story, we are introduced to a little girl who isn't able to spend any time with her busy dad. The dark illustrations give the reader a sense of a lonely and depressing situation, every time the little girl's father tells her he is busy. An illustration that really caught my eye, was the one where the little girl is in her bed holding her toy gorilla and her bed posts ...more
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UEL Primary PGCE ...: Book Review 1 1 May 03, 2015 07:00AM  
Gorilla 1 1 Feb 20, 2015 08:05PM  
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Librarian Note: There is more than one author in the GoodReads database with this name. See this thread for more information.

Anthony Browne, a Hans Christian Andersen Medalist, is the author-illustrator of many acclaimed books for children, including SILLY BILLY and LITTLE BEAUTY. He lives in Kent, England.
More about Anthony Browne...
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